Not All Dinette’s Are Created Equal

February 1, 20152

My dealer was instrumental in helping me understand this concept. Specifically how the size, placement, and shape of various dinettes impact my use and comfort.

For example, slideout dinettes are very popular in popup campers. I used to think this was ideal, creating more space inside the camper. Not necessarily. A slideout dinette can be only 64″ long whereas a dinette located at the end of the popup box, near the slideout bed, can be 80″. People with long legs could find a 64″ dinette to be cramped. Similarly, if you’re planning to convert the dinette to a bed at night, this can be a major difference, especially if the person sleeping there is taller than 5′ 4″.

You must also consider the location of the dinette. Do you want two small and separate dinettes located at each end of the camper? Do you want to crawl over the person sleeping on the converted dinette when getting in and out of the slideout bunk.

I choose what is an optimal setup for my family – a non-slideout dinette with a guachobed right next to it. This provides me with comfortable mealtime seating for 5 people with the table leaf installed (shown in the top image above).

Guachobed and converted dinette bed in Flagstaff 228 popup camper

This also allows for two decently sized beds to be created out of the guacho (70″) and dinette (69″) when converted, while not completely inhibiting access to the bunk. It’s a tight squeeze through the middle channel above, but much better than climbing over someone to get in the bunk.

This configuration is also quicker to setup than a slideout dinette option.

Your needs may vary, but take the above into consideration when shopping.

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I've been camping regularly since I was a kid, from quick Cub/Boy Scout trips to week-long backpacking trips and everything else in-between. We got a popup camper when our kids were 1 and 3 years old to enjoy more time outdoors together alongside a few conveniences like heat and running water. Since then, we've spent over 75 nights together as a family in our popup camper. I've learned a lot about the intricacies of a popup tent camper during this time and love to share those lessons here for the benefit of others.